Real estate funding specialist ASK Partners, “ASK,” and OakNorth Bank, the UK bank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs, have provided a combined senior loan facility to support the first acquisition of a new partnership between FORE Partnership and Amicala, that intends to develop up to £300m worth of ultra-sustainable net-zero extra care later living schemes. The loan is secured against a five-acre development site in Westbury Park, Bristol. The site boasts 92,000 sq ft of existing buildings including Grade II listed, Grace House, and five villas fronting Westbury Park, to be refurbished, retaining original period features.

The ambition is to create a vibrant community that celebrates ageing in place, through an integrated approach to care with a comprehensive range of services and amenities, both in home and within the communal spaces. The scheme will include a high specification clubhouse at the heart of the development providing community, care, and lifestyle services and facilities. In addition to health and wellbeing, sustainability and social inclusion will be a central focus throughout the design and operation.

The JV has appointed First Base as development manager to deliver the project.

Aurélien Collignon, Partner of FORE Partnership, shared: “Setting off on our journey to create ultra-sustainable and socially impactful extra care communities, it was essential to find supportive lending partners sharing our values and vision.  This acquisition, marking our first move into the sector, will achieve the highest standards in sustainability and will be net zero carbon in operation.  The project will also be designed to deliver social benefit to the local community and promote principles of sustainable living and the circular economy, with a particular focus on on-site food production in partnership with local social enterprises.”

Deepesh Thakrar, Senior Director of Debt Finance at OakNorth Bank, said: “Demand for retirement housing in the UK far exceeds supply. A recent survey has revealed that there could be as many as 2.5 million UK retirees who would desire retirement properties, with the pandemic being a key driver in highlighting the benefits of community living[1]. We are therefore delighted to work alongside ASK again to fund this highly impressive later living scheme, which is positioned in an affluent and popular suburb of Bristol. This impressive scheme will target the 70 – 80+ age demographic but will also integrate with the community and run outward focused events welcoming members of the local public; a very important factor in not isolating residents.”

Daniel Austin, CEO of ASK Partners, commented further: “With an ageing, yet increasingly active population, this scheme is likely to strongly appeal to downsizers making their final move, whilst they are still active and want to remain part of a community. We were also impressed with the JVs net-zero targets and are delighted to be supporting a sustainable scheme of this nature.”